Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 13, 2017

At the APEC summit in Vietnam, Putin told Trump that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 election. Putin was sincere. At the same time, Taiwan is beefing-up cybersecurity, ostensibly to counter “daily” and “Russian style” attacks originating in China. If everyone’s rhetoric holds true, that means that there aren’t any threats at all.

Trump offered to help settle disputes in the South Sea. The Philippines’ finance minister complemented Trump on knowing “the art of the deal”. The Filipino president does not want any problems in the South Sea. China would rather settle disputes one-to-one. Will everyone get what they want? We’ll have to see. This is a chance for China also to earn compliments about negotiation skill from Filipino leadership.

Trump was very friendly in China. He underscored the importance of cooperation between the US and China. It was one of the kindest things he ever said. He publicly conducted himself in some of the kindest ways he ever has since running for office. China received him with respect and his public appearances went smoothly. If there ever was a good chance for peace, now is the best chance there has been for a long while and is probably the best chance there will yet be for a long while.

Will things go peacefully? We’ll see.

Trump Offers to Broker Peace in South China Sea as Trip Wraps Up | Bloomberg

Taiwan boosts cyber defences against threat from China | Financial Times

Trump in China: Game, set, and possibly match to Beijing | Forbes

Trump says Japan should buy US military equipment to protect against North Korea | CNN

Donald Trump and Melania arrive safely in Seoul amid threats from North Korea | Express

Trump to meet Philippines’ controversial Duterte | Yahoo – AFP

Trump urges N Korea to ‘come to table’ over nuclear issue | BBC

Trump warns North Korea: Do not ‘try us’ | AP

Iran-North Korea’s ‘axis of evil’ may be Trump’s biggest threat | CNBC

‘Welcome to China! I love you!’ | Daily Mail